I want to ask a question regarding aqiqah. If I don’t want to slaughter a goat, can I replace it with parts of cow or camel, is it permissible?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The ruling for aqiqah is sunnah for the capable. Aqiqah is sanctioned by the Prophet PBUH through his hadith from Salman bin Amir al-Dhabbi RA, he said: “I heard the Prophet PBUH said:
مَعَ الْغُلاَمِ عَقِيقَتُهُ فَأَهْرِيقُوا عَنْهُ دَمًا وَأَمِيطُوا عَنْهُ الأَذَى
“Along with a boy there is an 'Aqiqah, so shed blood on his behalf, and remove injury from him.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (2839)
It is also sunnah to perform the aqiqah on the seventh day of birth, and to give a good name and shave the baby’s head. This is in accordance with a hadith by Samurah RA:
الْغُلاَمُ مُرْتَهَنٌ بِعَقِيقَتِهِ يُذْبَحُ عَنْهُ يَوْمَ السَّابِعِ وَيُسَمَّى وَيُحْلَقُ رَأْسُهُ
"The boy is mortgaged by his 'Aqiqah; slaughtering should be done for him on the seventh day, he should be given a name, and his head should be shaved."
Sunan Abu Daud (1522)
Regarding the number of goats to be slaughtered for aqiqah, for a baby boy, it is sunnah to slaughter 2 goats, while 1 goat is sunnah for a baby girl. This is in accordance with a hadith of the Prophet PBUH, where he said:
مَنْ وُلِدَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَأَحَبَّ أَنْ يَنْسُكَ عَنْهُ فَلْيَنْسُكْ عَنِ الْغُلاَمِ شَاتَانِ مُكَافِئَتَانِ وَعَنِ الْجَارِيَةِ شَاةٌ
“If anyone has a child born to him and wishes to offer a sacrifice on its behalf, he may offer two resembling sheep for a boy and one for a girl.”
Sunan Abu Daud (2842)
According to the above hadith, the original ruling for aqiqah for a boy is two goats and one for a girl. This is the best manner for aqiqah.
Is it permissible to replace goat with parts of cow or camel?
In madhhab Syafie, it is permissible to replace goat with parts of cow or camel. This is stated by al-Imam al-Nawawi Rahimahullah in his book al-Majmu’:
مَذْهَبُنَا جَوَازُ الْعَقِيقَةِ بِمَا تَجُوزُ بِهِ الْأُضْحِيَّةُ مِنْ الابل والبقر والغنم وبه قال أنس ابن مَالِكٍ وَمَالِكُ بْنُ أَنَسٍ وَحَكَى ابْنُ الْمُنْذِرِ عَنْ حَفْصَةَ بِنْتِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ أَبِي بَكْرٍ الصِّدِّيقِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ لَا يُجْزِئُ إلَّا الْغَنَمُ
“Our madhhab (al-Syafie), ruled it permissible for aqiqah with animals of slaughter, such as camel, cow, and goat and this is the opinion of Anas bin Malik and Malik bin Anas. Narrated by Ibn al-Munzir from Hafsah binti Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Siddiq, there is no aqiqah without the slaughtering of goat.”
The Comparable of a Goat with Camel or Cow
A goat is equivalent to one part of a cow and camel. This is stated by al-khatib al-Syarbini Rahimahullah in his book Mughni al-Muhtaj:
وَكَالشَّاةِ سُبْعُ بَدَنَةٍ أَوْ بَقَرَةٍ، فَلَوْ ذَبَحَ بَدَنَةً أَوْ بَقَرَةً عَنْ سَبْعَةِ أَوْلَادٍ، أَوْ اشْتَرَكَ جَمَاعَةٌ فِيهَا جَازَ، سَوَاءٌ أَرَادُوا كُلُّهُمْ الْعَقِيقَةَ أَوْ بَعْضُهُمْ الْعَقِيقَةَ وَبَعْضُهُمْ اللَّحْمَ
“And for a goat is equivalent to 1/7 (one part) of camel or cow. It is permissible for the camel or cow to be slaughtered for 7 children or shared with others, or it (all parts) is intentioned for aqiqah, or some for aqiqah and some just to get the meat.”
It is permissible to replace goat with camel or cow for aqiqah but it must be in accordance with the requisites of slaughter, for requisites of slaughter is applicable for aqiqah. The equivalent of a goat is 1/7 of a camel or cow and can be shared with others. Wallahua’lam.